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Communtity Law Manual | Disability rights | Universities and polytechs: Access to tertiary education

Education: Access and learning support for disabled and Deaf students

Universities and polytechs: Access to tertiary education

Protection against discrimination

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, s 19; Human Rights Act 1993, ss 57–60

Disabled people cannot be discriminated against by universities, polytechs and other tertiary education organisations.

Education Act 1989, s 159F; Kia Ōrite: New Zealand Code of Practice for an Inclusive Tertiary Education Environment for Students with Impairments

The Tertiary Education Commission expects all tertiary organisations to provide support to make sure disabled students succeed in tertiary education, and the Commission provides funding (“equity funding”) to make this possible.

“Kia Ōrite: The New Zealand Code of Practice for an Inclusive Tertiary Education Environment for Students with Impairments” includes best practice standards and examples to help institutions meet their obligations to disabled students. You can read the Code at:
www.achieve.org.nz/resources/kia-orite-code-of-practice

Achieve (www.achieve.org.nz ) is a national service that helps tertiary providers meet disabled students’ needs.

Getting learning support at tertiary institutions

All universities, and most polytechs and other large tertiary institutions, have staff members dedicated to setting up appropriate support for disabled students. Before you enrol at a tertiary institution (or after) you can contact this person or office to discuss your needs.

Some common forms of help available at tertiary institutions are:

  • reader/writer help in exams
  • note-takers in lectures and tutorials
  • NZSL interpreters
  • ergonomic furniture.
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